We are currently amidst an unusual and unprecedented wildfire season here in the Okanagan. Here is some need to know information to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe:


A breakdown of what the 3 stages of evacuation are and what they mean:

Stage 1 – Evacuation Alert
  • An alert from authorities for the population at risk of evacuation
  • This allows you to prepare for the evacuation order, you will have time to prepare a “grab and go bag” of documents and essential items (see below for a preparation list)
  • Evacuation at this point is not needed, but it is important to remain alert to situational changes
Stage 2 – Evacuation Order:
  • Evacuation is required, everyone must leave the affected area
  • Staying in the affected area can put your life at risk as well as those who will be required to rescue you – this will likely also take away from fire suppression efforts
Stage 3 – Evacuation Rescinded/All Clear:
  • The population that was previously evacuated, may now return as the emergency is under control



This will help to ensure that you can quickly and easily remember all the most important items       

  • People
  • Pets
  • Prescriptions, vitamins
  • Papers, phone numbers, and important documents
  • Personal Needs
  • Priceless Items (pictures, irreplaceable memorabilia)



This is a plan has been prepared in advance, and is something that all members of your family/household are familiar with.

 This plan should include:

  • A designated meeting area outside the fire hazard area, as well as different possible escape routes (it is important to practice these routes, so that everyone is familiar)
  • An evacuation plan for pets and other animals
  • An out-of-area friend or relative to act as a point of contact (It is easier to contact one person and have them communicate with your loved ones as phone, cell, and internet systems may be overwhelmed)
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit for each person


Find below a few lists of things that may be valuable to have prepared if you are in an area where there is an evacuation alert. Please be mindful, that completing all these steps or gathering all these items may not be possible during an evacuation order, therefore it is important to have this prepared prior to an evacuation order.

Go Bag

  • Important documents (birth certificates, insurance policies, medical records, passport, etc.)
  • Medications and a copy of prescriptions
  • Glasses or contact lenses
  • Clothing for 3-5 days
  • Should wear long cotton or wool pants and long sleeve shirts in order to protect against heat and flying embers
  • Personal toiletries
  • Family heirlooms and priceless items
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Water (three gallons of water per person)
  • Food and high energy snacks (non-perishables) three-day supply minimum                 
  • Emergency blanket
  • Emergency cash (coins and small bills)
  • Portable radio and batteries
  • Sturdy shoes and socks
  • Whistle
  • Wallet and cell phone (can be added at the last minute)
  • A handkerchief to cover the face if needed
  • Glasses/goggles to protect from flying embers
  • First aid kit
  • Pets
  • Pet food and water
  • Map marked with two evacuation routes
  • Baby formula, and baby supplies if needed

Comfort items

  • Family pictures, small games, stuffed animals for children


If you have time…..

Check on others
  • Check on neighbors and ensure they have plans to evacuate if necessary
Prepare your home
  • Shut all inside doors and windows
  • Raise shades and remove curtains
  • Turn on a light in each room and all outside lights (so firefights can locate house if needed even in smoky conditions)
  • Shut off the air conditioner
  • Turn off pilot lights
  • Close or block off doggie-doors
  • Move combustible furniture into the house or garage
  • Shut off propane/natural gas (move BBQ appliances away from structures)
  • Prop a non-combustible ladder at the side of the house for easy access to the roof for firefighters
  • Fill trash cans and buckets with water and leave them in places where firefighters can easily find them
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves
  • Take inventory of home contents (video inventory)
  • Park vehicle in driveway facing away from house


Extra useful items

  • Sleeping bag and warm clothing for each person
  • Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and garbage bags
  • Utensils, plates, and cups
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdriver, work gloves, pocketknife, etc.)
  • Duct tape


Remember: there is nothing you own that is worth your health and safety. When asked to evacuate, ensure you evacuate immediately.




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